Augustana Academy for Seniors
Stanley L. Olsen
Program for current year
2009-2010: Fall 2009 Spring 2010
GOD, ETHICS, AND SCIENCE
September 16 Program #1
"God, Reason, and the Challenge of Atheism"
Audio of David O'Hara presentation
What do atheists believe? About the origin of religious beliefs and practices? About the credibility of Christian theism's central claims? About the effects of religious beliefs upon morality? Have atheists writing today made their case? Are there considerations which they overlook or weigh differently that point in the other direction? How does religion fare at the bar of reason? Are its claims defensible? Can a strong case for believing in God be made in our own day? And what about the connection between morality and religion? How should we understand that?
Booklist recommended by David O'Hara -- the Augustana Bookstore will have a few copies by mid-August.
David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusion (Yale University Press,
2009). ISBN 978-0-300-11190-3
October 21 Program #2
"Thoughts of a Lutheran Ethicist"
Audio of Laurie Jungling presentation (23 Mb)
What does religion have to do with ethics? Are there moral absolutes? Why do people who pray to the same God and read the same Bible come to such very different conclusions on moral questions and public policy issues? Is there anything distinctive in the way Lutherans do ethics and approach moral issues? What kind of help can churches and pastors give? When you think about moral issues, how do you proceed? What things inform your decision-making? What considerations have priority as you wrestle with issues like abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, capital punishment, prayer in schools? What role does Scripture play in your deliberating? Prayer? The Golden Rule? The principle that we should always do what is best for the most? Or always follow universalizable rules? Or do what love requires? What authors or books have you found most helpful as a Christian ethicist?
Booklist recommended by Laurie Jungling -- the Augustana Bookstore will have a few copies in advance.
Martin Luther's FREEDOM OF A CHRISTIAN
November 18 Program #3
"Is Evolution Compatible with the Christian World View? A Historical
Audio of Mike Wanous presentation (20Mb)
Slides of Mike Wanous presentation (pdf, 5 Mb)
Are religion and science opposed, the one relying on reason and empirical investigation, the other trusting to faith and revelation? What is the relation between the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature? How did the church fathers view it? St. Augustine? Luther? Galileo, Bacon, more modern thinkers? Where should a Christian come down on the theory of evolution? Do you see a conflict between Christian tenets and evolutionary theory? How do you handle the controversy in the classroom?
Recommended reading list for this presentation:
Collins, Francis S. 2006. The Language of God. A Scientist Presents
Evidence for Belief. Free Press.
Cultures in Turmoil: Bridging the Gap in South Dakota
February 17 WEDNESDAY
"Exploring Native American Culture: A Closer Look at the First
Audio of Bill Swart presentation (50 Mb)
March 24 WEDNESDAY
"Cultures, Values, and Beliefs Afffecting Native American Healt"
Slides of Karla Abbott presentation (pdf, 4 MB)
April 21 WEDNESDAY
"A Current View from Sinte Gleska"
Audio of Lionel Bordeaux presentation (26 Mb)
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